PUMPKIN CRUNCH CAKE

Soft pumpkin on the bottom with crunchy cake and pecans on top…This has all the amazing flavors of fall in one dish. Perfect for serving at your next gathering.

Fall is here! I absolutely love fall! I love everything about fall: cool crisp air, cozy sweaters, changing leaves, harvest parties, anticipation of the coming holidays, and pumpkin everything–pumpkin pie, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bread–I could go on and on! I am beyond-excited to get to work on my delicious pumpkin recipes to share with you!

Funny thing though.  In Hawaii, we don’t really have a true fall season. The leaves don’t change, the air doesn’t get cool and crisp…but having grown up in the Northwest, and having experienced fall almost my whole life, it’s kind of ingrained in me. I have vivid memories of fall. I can still smell the smells. I feel the cold air. I hear the leaves crunching under my feet. Taking those memories, I recreate fall in our home, decorating with beautiful fall leaves and pumpkins, and making delicious fall desserts! And here is one recipe that I make every fall.

For this recipe:

This recipe is really easy–it only tastes like it was a lot of work! Let this be our little secret.

  • In a large bowl, whisk the pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Mix until completely incorporated and smooth. Then, pour the pumpkin mixture into the prepared 9×13 baking dish.
  • With your hands, sprinkle the dry cake mix evenly over the pumpkin. DO NOT STIR! Equally distribute the cake batter (you want it as flat and level as possible, so when you pour the butter on top it spreads out evenly and doesn’t puddle).
  • Melt 1 cup of butter and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, mix together 1 cup of chopped pecans, 1 tablespoon of melted butter, (from the butter you just melted), and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Stir until the pecans are evenly coated. This creates candied pecans, which will have a nice, sweet crunch to them when they are baked.
  • Pour remaining butter over the top of the dry cake batter. Without mixing it into the cake batter, try to spread it out evenly, avoiding large puddles of butter to form.
  • Evenly distribute the sugar-coated pecans on top of the butter.
  • Bake for 40 minutes, then check the cake. If the top is browning, cover with tinfoil and return to the oven. Bake for an additional 10 minutes, (total of 50 minutes cooking time). To check for doneness, insert a knife to check. If the blade comes out clean, the cake is done. If not, bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.
  • On a wire cooling rack, allow cake to cool completely. Once cooled, place in refrigerator to chill and to finish setting up for a few hours before serving.
  • Top with whipped cream and chopped pecans (optional). Serve.

Pumpkin Crunch Cake

Soft pumpkin on the bottom and crunchy cake and pecans on top…This has all the amazing flavors of fall in one dish. Perfect for serving at your next fall gathering.
0 from 0 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 12 servings

Ingredients
 

  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
  • 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 box french vanilla cake mix, (you can also use yellow)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter, melted

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 baking pan.
  • Whisk together in a large bowl, the pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Mix until completely incorporated and smooth.
  • Pour the pumpkin mixture into the prepared 9×13 baking dish.
  • With your hands, sprinkle the dry cake mix evenly over the pumpkin. DO NOT STIR! Try to get the dry cake mix as even and level as you can.
  • Melt 1 cup of butter, set aside.
  • In a small bowl mix together 1 cup of chopped pecans, 1 tablespoon melted butter, (from the butter you just melted), and 2 tablespoons brown sugar. Stir together until the pecans are evenly coated.
  • Pour remaining butter over the top of the dry cake batter. Without mixing it into the cake batter, try to spread it out evenly.
  • Evenly distribute the sugar coated pecans on top of the butter.
  • Bake for 40 minutes, then check the cake, if the top is browning, cover with tinfoil and return to the oven and finish baking for an additional 10 minutes, (for a total of 50 minutes). Insert a knife, if it comes out clean the cake is done, if not, bake for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Allow cake to cool on a wire cooling rack. Once cake is cooled, place in refrigerator to chill and to finish setting up for a few hours before serving.
  • Top with whip cream and additional chopped pecans (optional) and serve.
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